Pumping Station One recently feature a post on attaching a QR code to your keychain that will allow someone to scan the QR code on the keychain fob and automatically send you a text message that they found your keys, with their phone number included so you can call them and arrange to get your keys back.
While they mentioned QR Stuff as a place to be able to create this sort of QR code (thanks guys!), I thought I’d go through the process of exactly how to create a QR code containing a pre-formatted text message.
- Go to QR Stuff and in column 1 (Data Type) choose “SMS Message”
- In column 2 (Content) enter your phone number and the message you would like to receive (eg; “I found your keys!”)
- Click on the “Download This Image” link under the preview image.
You now have a QR code with a pre-formatted text message in it that’s ready to be sent back to you from the phone of the person who found your keys and then scanned the QR code you attached to them. Of course, by them sending you the text message, you also now have their phone number in your phone so you can ring them back and arrange to go get your keys from them. Easy!
The Pumping Station One blog post also went into technical detail about how you could make your own acrylic keyring fob with the QR code engraved on it, but if you don’t have a laser cutter lying around you could just get one of those square clear plastic ones that allow you put a photo in them, and put a paper print of your QR code in it instead.
The possibilities of this sort of QR code go way beyond attaching them to your keychain. Obviously you could attach one to anything else that has a habit of getting lost (like pets or small children), but having a QR code containing a text message pre-configured so that the person scanning it just has to press “Send” for it to come back to you (together with the senders phone number) would be handy for:
- Sales – On advertising material promoting the new model and containing the message “I’d like to test drive the new 2011 Camaro” that comes back to salesman’s phone.
- User Support – On the printed instructions for a product with the caption “Need help? Scan this and we’ll ring you back”. The QR code would contain a message like “I need help with product XYZ” and would be pre-coded with the cell number for your customer support team.
- On-Request Product Upgrades – Where a paid option is available for a free service this sort of QR code could be included when the free service is delivered with a call to action “Upgrade Now” which would follow through to a call-back to the customer by the sales team.
- Opt-In SMS Registration – A QR code containing the message “Yes, send me SMS product updates”. Since the phone number of the sender is included in the return message, they can then be easily included in the SMS customer database for the approved delivery of future messages/promotions by SMS.
So, while a QR code containing a pre-formatted text message can actually help you find your lost keys, this sort of QR code opens up a whole new range of possibilities for the savvy marketer.